NetBeans 6.5 and Python

NetBeans 6.5 is out! You can run it with the Nimbus look and feel too! There's also an Early Access plugin for Python. All very nice.


I recently had occasion to play with some Python at work (a small script to do some configurations, and I didn't want to do them in bash), so I took the time to get all of this set up. It's all so very easy and not worth writing about. However I thought that the interactive debugger (which is awesome, btw) has a small issue that needs resolving. Mean-time, here's a work-around.

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Stripping tags from ogg Vorbis files

I have a bunch of free Ogg Vorbis audio files that I've downloaded from Kahvi.org. They're great! But recently they've been including cover art within the files, which breaks Windows Media Player (it can't handle the very long tags of binhex-coded JPGs). Since I rather like WMP's integration in windows (keyboard shortcuts), and Amarok isn't quite ready for win32, I thought I'd find a way to strip the troublesome tags from the data files rather than change to another player. Here's a quick-and-dirty shell hack to remove the tags from the files and get them playable by daft players such as Windows Media Player

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Cascaded revision control strategy

Okay, this isn't rocket-science, and in fact it's not even my idea (heard it on the FLOSS POD about Git). A problem with centralised repository systems such as Subversion (which is used on SourceForge) is that you need network access to do many things, and also to just save your work. You can't do commits to the repo' while on the train, for instance (which is where I do most of my hacking). One option is to switch to a distributed revision system, such as Git or Mercurial.  I may do that some day, but right now is not a good time for me to be learning a new revision system. Plus to have SourceForge host my project in Hg (for instance) means installing it myself and blah-blah-blah. Then there's IDE integration to consider... I want to have my cake and eat it too.

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Pretty-printing XML with Emacs' NXML-mode

Did you ever get a stream of XML out of a log file, or in a data stream, and it's all mashed together without line-breaks so that it just appears as gobble-de-gook? If there's a data error (not an XML parsing error) then you have to read it so that you can find where the error is, but you don't have XML-spy and NetBeans is overkill or takes forever to fire up... Emacs to the rescue! Benjamin Ferrari wrote this increadibly useful (and simple) elisp function to pretty-print a block of XML code:

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Solaris X11 and Dvorak simplified keyboard layout

I've recently been playing with OpenSolaris and Solaris Express DE running in VirtualBox. They're fine so far (except audio isn't working) but I stumbled on a usability issue that was nearly a show-stopper: dratted QWERTY layouts! The GNOME GUI for switching to Dvorak doesn't work, and setxkbmap(1) can't find the rules file for dvorak either (they don't seem to be installed where the man page indicates)...

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